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History of Melbourne Rowing Club

A short history written in 1950 by Mr P A Matthews


Acknowledgements: Much of the information for the compilation of this little brochure has been obtained from John Lang's "Victorian Oarsman" (1919), especially racing results. Other items have been obtained from the much quoted "Bell's Life, etc." which was the "Sporting Globe" of the 1860's and was taken over by and became the authoritative sporting section of the "Australasian" from 1870 or thereabouts and for many years.

The minute books of Melbourne Rowing Club from foundation to 1898 having been lost or destroyed, reliance had to be placed on Press reports. The section dealing with the Melbourne Amateur Athletic Club was condensed from the story told to the writer by Mr. J. W. McComas.


Melbourne Rowing Club

  • 1862-1868 F. Wilkinson, Esq.
  • 1869-1880 J. Chatfield Tyler, Esq.
  • 1881-1891 Joseph Raleigh, Esq.
  • 1892-1894 F. W. Prell, Esq.
  • 1895-1898 Alfred Harvey, Esq.
  • 1898-1922 Records lost.

Civil Service Rowing Club

  • 1866-1874 Hon. Geo. Higinbotham M.L.A.
  • Sir George Higinbotham
    Sir George Higinbotham
  • 1875-1878 H. P. Venables,
  • 1879-1890 W. H. Hull, Esq.
  • 1891-1917 Sir Edward Carlile K. C., K. B.
  • 1917-1922 Lt Col J. M. Semmens O.B.E., V.D.
  • Semmens
  • Lt Col J M Semmens
  • At the time of his enlistment
  • Weekly Times 5th September 1914


  • 1922-1937 Lt. Col. J. M. Semmens.
  • 1937-1938 Paymaster, Capt. A. M. Treacy.
  • 1938-1941 P. A. Matthews.
  • 1941 Lt. Col. H. E. Butler.

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